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Travel Anxiety Tails – Hodophobia

How Can You Overcome Dog Travel Anxiety?




The good news is, there are several ways of countering Dog Travel Anxiety, and therefore if your furry friend shows signs of restlessness, do not freak out. One useful hack is teaching your dog to have a favorable view of cars. Once the dog associates the car with anything good, he or she will be able to counter its restlessness.


You should also ensure that your car is well aerated before allowing your dog to go inside. Remember, this depends on the current climatic conditions. Fresh air helps calm your dog while restless. How then do you aerate your car?


It is pretty simple. You only need to open and lower your window a little bit to expel the hot air. In case you prefer air conditioning, make sure it is not set too high.


What if the weather is cold? For cold weather, you should warm your car up a bit. Do not let your dog enter a cold car, or else you will have trouble the entire journey.



What Steps Can I Practice to Counter Hodophobia?


To counter dog anxiety, here are some of the steps that you can practice:


Luring You Dog Into The Car


Make sure that you don’t feed your dog before practicing this step. When going to the car, walk out with your dog on a leash. You can then give it a treat when you first open the car door to lure it into entering the car. What happens if the dog keeps on resisting and wants to go back to the house?


In that case, you should repeat the procedure several times six days minimum. With time, the dog will get used to getting into the car.


Taking A Ride


For every step your dog makes, you can either give him or her a treat as a way of praise. Praising your dog helps a lot when it finally comes to taking a ride. When going out on a trip, the first thing to do is buckle up your friend.


To keep it occupied during the ride, offer a favorite toy. Remember to practice this part a lot, especially if your dog does not like to be restrained.


Also, observe some stops along the way, which is even more necessary for longer rides. Why? Your dog needs to breathe since it is the only time it gets to stretch out fully.



Dog Safety


The best way to travel is by ensuring that you and your dog are both safe. This doubles up as the best way of avoiding dog travel anxiety. The good news is, all the products that are needed to ensure that your dog is safe are easily accessible.


For a short car trip, dog seat belts come in handy because they can be taken off easily. However, for longer trips, you need a full harness or a car hammock. Always remember that your pet is at risk of injury when traveling, especially when you make sharp brakes or get involved in an accident.


For dog owners, you probably know that your furry friend loves riding with the head outside the window. Even though this is a common trait in almost all animals, it predisposes your dog to severe injuries. What then, are some of the products that can be used to secure your pet while driving?





Tethers work like a seat beltThey act as rigid dog harnesses that protect your dog on making a sudden stop. One precaution that you need to observe is never to attach the tether to the collar of your dog.


In case you are wondering, it is because your dog may either choke or break its neck. In cases of accidents, the tether and the harness are essential protection gears that prevent your dog from leaving the seat.


Booster Seats


Another critical safety equipment is the booster seat, which is usually fastened to the vehicle keeping the dog seat in place when you make a sudden stop or start. It also protects during crashes.


Remember that the dog is secured to the chair with a clip. Just like in tethers, this clip should be secured to the dog’s harness and not its collar bones.


Backseat Hammock



The primary role of the backseat hammock is to fill the gap found between the back and the front seats. It, therefore, helps your dog stretch and relax by creating more room. In return, your dog will feel comfortable during the ride.




Pet carriers are usually instrumental when transporting your pet to the vet office or an outing. Remember, however, to fasten the carrier with a seat belt.


These carriers secure to the back seat helping your dog to stay in position. It is also crucial in fighting hodophobia since your dog will feel more secure and comfortable during the ride.


There are certain essential pieces of information that you need to find out before restraining your dog. These are as follows:



What Does Your State Say About Restraining Your Dog?


Dogs-looking-out-car-windowYou need first to ask yourself whether your state requires your dog to be restrained. Different places have different legislation’s, and for a number of countries, legislation’s to make dog seat belts a must are underway.


It is true that for dog owners, having your favorite pet around is bliss. However, you need to recognize the risk that comes with it. You must, therefore, ensure that you do not get distracted by your dog while on the highway.


Leaving your dog loose inside the vehicle might result in unwanted occurrences, a reason why most states require that dogs should be restrained.


In case of an accident, the dog may end up severely wounded or dead. A loose dog also predisposes you to the possibility of an accident that you ought to prevent.


In case you would like to find out what your state says about restraining your dog with seat belts while driving, the following article from Veterinarian’s Money Digest might be of help.



 Learn More



What To Do When Planning A Long-Distance Trip?


Dogs are not the same. While others love long-distance trips, some might have a problem getting into the car in the first place. Going on a long journey with your dog while driving, therefore, requires careful planning. Here are some of the things that you ought to do:


1. Packing


You need to make a list of all the things your dog needs on the trip. Remember, to fight hodophobia, your dog needs to be as comfortable as possible and giving him, or her everything it needs is a big step to comfort.



2. Tiring Your Dog


You should tire your dog out before the journey. An excessively active dog might be quite distracting on a long trip.


You should, therefore, drain all its energy to ensure that it sleeps all the way. Find an activity to engage your dog in.


3. Entertainment


Calming-MusicYour dog needs to be entertained in the course of the long journey. You can, therefore, give your dog a bone to chew.


A hard rubber toy filled with treats would also be a good idea. You can also play some relaxing and calming music to help set the mood.


4. Pit Stops For Potty Breaks


When covering a longer distance, you need to make a number of stops along the way. Remember, your dog needs a potty break, just that it cannot communicate when it does.


Make sure, therefore, that you make regular stops so that your dog can take in some fresh air and stretch their legs.


On arrival, you also need to release the dog so that it stretches and go about its business.


5. Water


When embarking on a long journey, you need to have plenty of drinking water, not only for your dog but also for you.



6. Keep Your Dog Comfortable


Your dog needs to be comfortable during the journey. This can be done using a blanket or a bed. To curb dog travel anxiety, therefore, bring your pet a blanket or bed during the journey. They need to be soft and cuddly.



What Happens Once You Arrive At Your Destination?


When you reach your destination, you should give your dog some time to adjust to the new surroundings. It can either be a hotel room or a different type of accommodation, but all in all, you should let your dog rest.



What Is The Best Solution For Calming Your Anxious Dog?


We have looked at some of the practices that you can adopt to fight dog travel anxiety. You, however, need to ask yourself what the best solution for calming an anxious dog is.


Change of routine and exposing your dog to loud or new noises may redefine your dog’s behavior. Have in mind that behavioral changes are an indication that your dog is stressed by something.


You, however, need to note that the changes you notice on your dog are not purely a result of medical conditions; some are mental or emotionally related. In case you are worried about your dog, you can visit your vet, who will then prescribe a relaxation medication for your dog’s anxiety.


An example of a relaxant that has worked well on my dog is Trazadone.


Calming Chews

There are, however, other natural remedies that will work wonders. A good example is the calming chews, which help dogs deal with anxiety.


Dog Travel Anxiety Supplements


Note that there are certain supplements that you can offer your dog for a calming effect during anxiety. A good way of treating dog stress, therefore, is by using melatonin, which is a hormone that naturally rises in the bloodstream during sleep.


Melatonin is therefore an effective short-term relaxant. It may also help improve your dog’s quality of sleep. Another invention is the CBD oil and chews for dogs, which have become pretty popular.


The only problem with these supplements is that there is no regulation regarding strength and potency. CBD-to treat-anxietyOn the brighter side, should you decide to use CBD oil, note that it is devoid of THC, which is the substance in Marijuana that gets people high.


You must, however, talk to your vet in regards to dosing before administering these supplements to your dog.


You can also opt for plug-in calming diffusers, sprays, wipes, and collars, generally referred to as pheromones. These contain a form of the hormone used by nursing mothers in calming their puppies.



Have A Carefree Journey


Ensure, therefore, that you go by our suggestions. Never forget to praise your dog during and after the ride for its good behavior.



Wrapping Up


Hodophobia is a pretty scary condition. However, it is manageable with the right practices and supplements.



I would like to hear from you regarding Dog Travel Anxiety. Was the information provided helpful to you in understanding how to handle travel anxiety issue with your dog?  You may leave your questions and comments in the section below and I will be happy to respond.




All the best!


Founder: My Everything For Your Dog🐶 

“Saving one animal won’t change the world, but for that one animal, the world changes forever”


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8 thoughts on “Travel Anxiety Tails – Hodophobia

  1. Hello and thanks for posting on this topic.

    Last summer I almost got an accident due to Tobby’s anxiety attack (he scaped the belt and jumped on my lap while driving making me instinctively brake to be hitten back by another car).

    We practiced a lot (I feed him with the car after marking territory arrownd the neighborhood). Nothing worked when we came to the real thing.

    The solution so far, avoiding bringing him when going on long trips. The second time we tried to do that we tied him firmly, but it’s not the solution I wanted (I can notice he surfers a lot).

    I’d definitely try the EasyBoy Calming Chews. Thanks a lot for your recommendation!

    1. Juan,

      Thank you for visiting my page and for your wonderful comments. I appreciate that people can relate to the content that I write.

      The calming chews seem to work for a great deal of dogs. Please let me know how they work for your dog if you try them.

      All the best to you in 2020!


  2. Barbara, I really appreciate what you have said here in your article.  My wife and I have had dogs (and a cat) for most of our married life together (but not currently).  

    We have also had some of the same issues that you have experienced especially the anxiety and wanting to snuggle as close as possible when riding in our vehicles.  

    Short rides were the ones with the most anxiety probably because they mostly ended up at the Vets’ office. Longer rides (1 1/2 hours) to our favourite camping spot were a little less stressful as they would quiet down after a while but would still get as close as possible.

    We don’t have pets at the moment and it’s probably a good thing as we are planning a big move some 450k away from where we are now but we haven’t ruled out the possibility in the future.

    Travel with our trailer is planned once we are settled in our new place and if we do decide to get another pooch these tips are going to come in handy.  I like the harness idea a lot.

    You briefly mentioned Melatonin as a way to help our fur babies calm down.  When we had ours we used a product, from time to time called “Rescue Remedy”.  It can be purchased in a regular Health Food Store as a supplement for adults.  However, our Vet suggested that we could also use it for our pets.  have you heard of it?

    It comes in liquid form and you let a few drops hit their nose, they lick it in and within a few minutes or so they start to relax.  It worked pretty well for us.

    Thanks again for these helpful tips,


    1. Wayne,

      Thank you for taking the time to visit my page and for the wonderful comments you made. It is very helpful to me knowing that people can relate to what my content is about.

      I believe I have heard of Rescue Remedy, but have never tried it. I will definitely look into and that you for the suggestion.

      All the best to you in 2020!


  3. A post I read with great pleasure. I’m a big animal lover. I appreciate your concern for a journey where you take your furry friend. It is good that as a child he is taught to travel by car. Thus, anxiety will be as non-existent. We had a dog that left us recently. Actually a puppy. He loves to travel by car or to accompany me to the sea.

    1. Carmen,

      Thank you for visiting my page and leaving such wonderful comments. I certainly appreciate your feedback. It is helpful to know what content interests people.

      All the best to you in 2020!


  4. hi and thank you for this awesome post. Just a couple things that come to my mind are to bring some of your Dog’s favourite snacks as comfort along the way. When I used to travel with my family and dog who was a poodle, we would always bring and a bone and treats. We would also let him tinkle every hour and a half or so. because he is a poodle he was able to move around the car easier. If it is a bigger dog then you need to be more considerate of its Comfort level.

    1. Jake,

      Thank you very much for visiting my page and for your terrific comments. I dog agree with you about bring along a favorite toy or bones for your dog when traveling. It does keep them occupied. Another thing you pointed out was letting them go potty every hour or so. This is considerably more important in a smaller dog because the have smaller bladders. They cannot hold it in like us humans can.

      All the best to you in 2020!


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